Think of the iconic image of a golfing getaway and your mind might conjure foggy Scottish weather or perhaps the gorgeous vistas of Hawaii or even the network of resorts and courses that are found under the desert sun of Arizona. It is unlikely that your first, second, probably not even your third thought would be the rolling greenery of France. But with the opening of Chateau du Coudreceau in the lush landscapes of the iconic Loire Valley wine-making region, France is about to give some of the more established destinations a real run for their money.
This new addition to the golfing world is an exclusive-use, 14-hole course set on a sweeping and majestic estate near Loury and although it may not compete with some of the better known courses in terms of technical finesse, it compensates in more ways than one. Its exclusive nature means that it has no members, catering only to those staying there and this low footfall means that there are no groups rushing up behind you and so no pressure to rush through your game. It is the closest thing to playing on your own private course.
It is also indulgently secluded, shrouded from outside interference and prying eyes by thickets of ancient trees which make up an ageless forest called Foret de Orleans which surrounds the 200-acre estate that is that is Chateau du Coudreceau’s home. The estate itself has been occupied since 1775 but it was only five years ago that the current owners decided to undertake a huge renovation project employing Paul McGinley Designs, the Arnold Palmer Dressing Company and Hawtree Designs to turn the fields once used for silk worm cultivation and bee-keeping into the series of ornate gardens, beautiful landscapes and tranquil waters that surround the course.
As a private course the accommodation naturally matches the grounding elegance that surrounds it completing the feeling of a perfect French country retreat. There are seven bedrooms in the main house with 12 more at neighbouring Château de La Chesnaye, a companion property specializing in more art-centered pursuits. When you are not enjoying the seclusion of the golf course you can spread out in the elegant and classical French surroundings indoors, socialize over charcuterie in the lakeside garden, relax in the indoor pool or even indulge yourself in the spa and wellbeing facilities. And, being French, there is a two century old, underground wine cellar the contents of which even the most renowned restaurants would be most envious, and a fully stocked bar as well.
The location is perfect for an afternoon spent tasting the region’s famous wines at Sancrerre…and with Paris only a 90 minute drive or a short helicopter hop away, a visit to The Palace of Versailles or the shopping district of the capital are also tempting options.
In typical French fashion this is a course that surrounds you not only with the perfect golfing environment but which also offers style, sophistication, extraordinary wines, the best food…and more culture and charm than you can wave a five-iron at.
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